After some rain

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain. . . .

— Robert Creeley, from “The Rain

Our garden on August 31, at the end of the dry season:Our garden in the dry season/enclos*ure

And on September 11, after several days of rain:Our September garden in Rwanda/enclos*ure

Much better. After the first rain or two, everything seemed almost sparkly.

Below (click on any of the thumbnails in the gallery) is a little tour of the borders along the upper and lower lawns, taken on September 11 — just before sunset — and yesterday afternoon.

I think this will be my slightly early Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up submission for September. Please go to May Dreams Gardens (Bloom Day on September 15) and Digging (Foliage Follow-Up on September 16) to see what’s happening in other Garden Bloggers’ gardens.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’

The green of life requires blue. . .*

Entrance to our garden/enclos*ure

At the front of our house, in two curvy planting beds, the Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’ is thick and blooming heavily — in the morning.

By early afternoon, the flowers close up, and I’m left with just a small-leaved, grey-green ground cover — which is still pretty nice.

(Above:  that’s a pink-blooming crape myrtle tree to the left, doing so-so — I’m going to give it a light pruning pretty soon and see if it will fill out a bit.)

Front entrance and Evolvulus 'Blue Sapphire' blooming/enclos*ure

I planted out little sprigs of the evolvulus last July. This open area used to be occupied by a large Norfolk pine.  However, it was dying (see here; sixth photo) and had to be cut down.

I’m not very happy with the grass and stone arrangement on the left side of the center planting area (below).  It looks rather ragged.   One of these days, I plan to remove the turf grass (I really like to have a wee bit of Round-Up) and plant mondo grass between the stones — as well as take up a few stones and add a two or three mounding plants.

Entrance and Evolvulus blooming/enclos*ure

Below, the blooms of Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’ are a true blue.  It is a tropical plant, hardy to U.S. zones 8-11.

(Click on any of the photos to enlarge them or on ‘Continue reading’ below to scroll through all the bigger images.)

Evolvulus for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day in March/enclos*ure

Below, I’ve also used it to edge the planting border along the upper lawn in front of the terrace. (A plan of our garden is here.)

Front border edged with Evolvulus/enclos*ure

Below is the same border from the other direction, standing at the center steps.  (The red-flowering shrub/vine at the end is a Mussaenda erythrophylla.)

Border with Evolvulus 'Blue Sapphire' and yellow daylilies

Below, the border continues on the left side of the steps. The tall yellow flowers are double Rudbeckia laciniata.

Our front border/enclos*ure

Below, the zinnias in our cutting garden (from last month’s GBBD) continue to be beautiful.  The tall grass in the back is lemongrass.

Zinnias in our cutting garden in Rwanda/enclos*ure

To see what’s blooming in other garden bloggers’ gardens today, check out May Dreams Gardens.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the 15th of every month.

*by Robert L. Jones, from “Blue.”

Heat wave test

It’s 97° right now (noon) in D.C. and expected to get to 102° today.

What’s holding up well in my new garden?  The goldenrod ‘Firecracker’ for one.  Not yet blooming, of course, but the foliage is absolutely sprightly, I would say.  Such a great plant!

Weigela and goldenrod still upright in the heat.

All the ornamental grasses look good, even the two miscanthus that are still sitting in their pots waiting to be planted after 6 weeks. My lamb’s ear looks great (I have the old-fashioned variety that flowers wildly; it’s messy, but I like it). The Rudbeckia laciniata is green and upright, but the leaves are drooping a little. My two little rosebushes (‘Cinco de Mayo’ and some small apricot David Austin)  and a mature weigela with burgundy-tinged leaves (came with the garden) also actually look fresh.

Sophie. This was my best shot after several tries.

My almost 12-year-0ld dog, Sophie, keeps wanting to stay outside and lie on the warm stone walkway or the deck. I’m wondering if it feels good to her touch of arthritis. I make her come in after 15-20 minutes, though, so the Animal Cops don’t show up.

Here's the second best shot.

What’s not fresh looking is the bigleaf hydrangeas and a still-unidentified viburnum (also from the old owners).  They wilt at a look.  I think they may both go at the end of the summer and be replaced by oak leaf hydrandreas (both regular and dwarf). I passed one yesterday evening that had toasted-looking blooms (still pretty), but still upright stems and leaves.

Need something to help with the heat?  Check out this fun video clip at PigTown Design and then the creamy lemon popsicles recipe at Content in a Cottage.

Also, try to remember how long and cold last winter was.